When we send our children to school, we do so thinking they are in a safe environment, conducive to learning. These days, there are many issues that parents need to be concerned about.
According to EducationWeek.com, there were 34 school shootings in 2021, of which 24 occurred after August 1st. Sexual abuse cases are also on the rise. Our trusted teachers, coaches, teachers’ aides, and mentors now need to be scrutinized to be sure they are safe for our children to be around.
Ballad High School Abuse Case:
One high-profile case occurred at Ballard High School, part of the Seattle school district. This case is especially difficult to comprehend because the soccer and basketball coach accused of sexual abuse crimes was already known as a danger to her students.
In 2018, Meghan Miller, a former University of Kansas goalkeeper, was hired for a position at Ballard High School, though it was aware of previous molestation accusations. Miller started at Ballard High as a teacher’s aide, then soccer coach.
Miller’s victim was 14 years old at the time the molestation began in 2016. She is now 17.
Looking for Easy Prey:
According to reports, Miller began a relationship with the student, who had been struggling with social and emotional issues. What started as a friendship, morphed over the next couple of years into a sexual relationship.
The coach became a central part of the student’s life. She acted as a confidant, walked her to classes, visited with her before and after school, and had steady communication throughout the day by text messaging. Many of these messages were sexual. Encounters would take place in city parks, in Miller’s office, and locker rooms.
Miller was charged with third-degree molestation and sexual misconduct with a minor. She was asked to surrender but declined through her lawyer. A $100,000 bond was issued for her arrest, and she was later booked into the King County Jail.
Parents have a tough job these days. From homeschooling during COVID-19 to making sure children are protected when they are outside the home. It is a never-ending battle to know who children are spending time with and whether they are safe from harm and predators.
In the Miller case, the abuse came to light after the student expressed her desire for someone else her age, after which Miller broke down and cried.
The student told a friend about the clandestine relationship, who then alerted a staff member, who shared the information with administrators.